Spyware — (medium security warning) is a program on your computer that runs without your knowledge and you directly allowing the program to do what it is doing such as: popups, changing favorites, changing browser homepage, icons on your desktop, etc.

Malware — (high security warning) is also a program just as spyware is and can do everything above but with more malicious intent. Systems can be crippled so that other virus can get in. Virus scanners shut off, Firewalls disabled, computers start listing to ports (channels) that they don’t normally listen to waiting for commands from a main computer operator. Any of these things could open your computer up to being hacked and some using your computer and internet to send out thousands of spam emails, virus, or try to hack more valuable computers.

If you think you have spyware and your computer is slower than usual. If you see changes to your homepage in your browser, popups, new tool bars, slow browsing of the internet, even your printer won’t print. There is a good chance you have some spyware/malware on your computer causing some of the troubles.

I worked for a large company doing tech support several years ago and that was one of the biggest problems we had was people downloading spyware onto their computers. It usually would get downloaded and installed with other free software packages like: free screensavers, free games, free software of any kind.

You have to be really careful and watch how your computer is behaving to know if you have a problem. Most of the common symptoms are listed in the first paragraph above. I use the word symptoms because you have almost got the next form of virus and email worms. They infect your computers and do the will of the company’s that created them. Most virus and worms are created by individual so they can be rudimentary at times, but spyware and malware are often times funded by corporate dollars. This also means these corporations are trying to turn a profit and this drives them to create more advanced and more devastating programs which attack the windows operating system.

The biggest things you can do are get a better internet browser. Window’s Internet Explorer is the default browser on most computers and has been trouble ever since it was created for these kinds of hacks.

OR get all the essental software (virus scanner, spyware remover for your computer including firefox browser.